Monday, July 30, 2012

Report Writing and Small Team Projects

Monday-Tuesday (7/23-7/24)
The first two days this week were spent finishing up creating our reports for the Glastenbury Wilderness and Wetlands Mapping projects. We were intensively wrapped up with report writing, GIS-ing, and eating our leftover camping food (all covered in Nutella, of course) for two days straight.

Sam, Dylan, and Stephanie examining maps to 
mark the areas surveyed on GIS

On Monday, we were able to reunite with Liz Thompson, with whom we had learned about natural communities from during our first week of training. She showed us UVM's Pringle Herbarium where we were able to see how all kinds of plants are collected, classified, and stored for preservation and research. Then we sat outside and talked through some of our difficulties with her in identifying natural communities on our maps for our wetlands project that don't seem to fit into any specific category. Because she co-authored Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont, she was a great resource to have in trying to understand the overlap between natural communities and how we might view and communicate these areas within the larger context of our project for our client.

Darren, Sam, Andrew, and Kelsey engaged in a deep discussion of 
conclusions to draw from our project results

Tuesday was spent with more report writing and GIS mapping. With all of the hours we spent sitting in front of a computer screen, we certainly needed a break and some sunlight. We relaxed and reenergized by doing yoga outside, led by our very own yoga guru Emily, and playing elbow tag. Although we learned how out of shape many of us felt after weeks of eating camping food and sitting around campfires, it was still a great time and left us feeling ready to finish up the rest of our reports at the end of the day.

Teresa and Kelsey creating beautiful GIS maps of the areas 
we surveyed for our wetlands project

Wednesday-Friday (7/25-7/27)
The rest of the week was spent working on our Small Team Projects (STPs). The project groups and topics include:
-Sam, Kristie, and Ally - Wood Turtle Habitat and Japanese Knotweed Management in Middlesex/Worcester
-Teresa and Stephanie - Natural Resource Inventory and Trail Assessment in Johnson
-Darren and Andrew - Recreation Management Planning and Trail Creation at a Talc Mill in Johnson
-Kelsey and Dylan - Trail Planning at the Reservoir Property in Johnson

Kristie and Sam performing wood turtle habitat data collection at the 
Whiteside Property in the North Branch of the Winooski River

We met with our clients, performed field work, and began putting together reports. These STPs gave us a great opportunity to network with local conservation groups and districts, perform the entire process from planning to data collection to report writing, and put all of the skills from this summer into practice. We are looking forward to continuing our work on these projects next week and delivering high quality work to our clients.

Teresa surveying and mapping a trail on the Prindle Property in Johnson, VT

Stayed tuned for our final week of the 2012 LANDS program!

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